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IOC President: These Were Dream Olympics - 2004-08-29


The Athens Summer Olympics have come to a close with the head of the International Olympic Committee describing them as "dream games."

At the closing ceremony Sunday, IOC president Jacques Rogge said the people of Greece brilliantly met the challenge of holding the games.

Mr. Rogge spoke after a spectacular light show and fireworks display that preceded the athletes' entrance into the main Olympic stadium.

The United States finished atop the Athens medal standings, leading all countries in both the gold medal count with 35 and most medals won with 103.

China finished second in the gold medal chase with 32 out of 63 medals it won overall. Russia was runner-up in the overall medal count with 92, 27 of which were gold.

Olympic competition ended on a bizarre note Sunday when a man attacked the front-runner in the men's marathon, Vanderlei Lima of Brazil. Lima recovered but lost his lead to eventual gold medalist Stefano Baldini of Italy.

The IOC later gave Lima its Pierre de Courbertin medal in recognition of exceptional fair play.

China hosts the next summer Olympics in 2008 in Beijing.

Information for this report is provided by AP, Reuters and AFP.

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